We are constantly having this conversation about upgrading cameras. What is the newest neatest thing and how much is going to set me back? I don’t know about you, but a camera is a major investment and I don’t take that purchase lightly. Just upgrading the newest body isn’t going to make you Ansel Adams, although a lot of people think so.
I believe you should buy the best Digital SLR or mirror-less camera that you can afford, and keep it for a number of years.
I have had my current camera for about 4 years. I am constantly learning new features and pushing it and myself to go further with all of the features it has.
Recently, I was getting frustrated with the quality of my images. I really wanted to up my game a bit. My options were, of course, to upgrade my camera body, or take a long hard look at what’s in my camera bag. I began to realize that my lenses were dated, and didn’t have the fast sharp lenses that would give me the detail that I wanted. So, upgrading my lenses was the first step.
When upgrading your lenses (or cameras for that matter), you have the option of renting first from a company like BorrowLenses.com or Lensrentals.com. With these companies, you can rent a lens or a camera for a couple of days or a week and really try it out. You can compare what’s new on the market, with what you already have, and you might be surprised at the results.
Maybe you’d like to take on this project? Here are my recommendations before you drop a lot of money on a new camera.
Think carefully about the type of photography you do. Do you enjoy landscape photography, or maybe street photography is your thing? Do you shoot portraits, or want to catch your children in action? What about wildlife? Do you want to go to the Serengeti or are you having fun shooting the birds and squirrels in your backyard? All of these factors are a consideration. Maybe you’d like to do all of the above and want a lens that will do it all. I’m here to tell you, that’s not possible. Or at least not with a quality lens that will give you good results.
Approach each type of photography with the thought of what is the best type of lens that will do the job for you. For street photography, I like a lens that has an equivalent of 28mm – 35mm. You can get that with a fast prime lens or maybe even a zoom that starts or ends at that range. For portraits, I like using something a little longer in the 75mm – 100mm range, so I can create a nice bokeh behind my subjects with a shallow depth of field. For my landscapes, my favorite lens is a may wide angle lens which covers 14mm – 28mm.
The key to this is to get the lens for the type of shooting you like to do. Analyze what you have, and give us a call or shoot us an email with your questions. We love to help people find the right lens or camera for the right situation.
Holly Higbee-Jansen is photographer, trainer, blogger, and workshop leader who enjoys teaching and the creative process. Her passions include teaching photography workshops in beautiful locations in California, Iceland, Costa Rica and the American West with her husband Mark. Holly also teaches online classes on Lightroom, Photoshop and photographic technique. Get Holly's Free E-Book on "Landscape Photography and the Light" and find out about her newest workshops at JansenPhotoExpeditions.com.